I love cherries; they are the perfect fruit for me. The perfect balance of sweet and tart. The plump and juicy flesh of this stone fruit takes me back to a much simpler time, when I could spend the hot summer afternoon in my parents’ backyard with a bowl of fresh cherries and eat them until my fingers and mouth turned a deep crimson red, having not a care in the world.
After spending a recent afternoon at my local co-op, I brought home a bounty of fresh cherries. I turned off the television, filled the baby pool with cool water from the hose (and taught my boys how to drink water from it), and we sat in the pool and ate cherries. A lot of cherries. We were a bit silly and had a pit spitting contest (they could not get over “mom” doing such a “boy” thing. Little do they know, their mom was once a better tree climber than all the boys on her block when she was growing up). The long, hot, lazy days of summer, how I have missed them so. Eating cherries until our fingers and mouths turned that familiar shade of red. To share this memory with my babes is beautiful and priceless.
The following recipe is linked to this month’s ‘Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free’ blog carnival which was started by Naomi Devlin of Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried. This month’s host is Sheryl of Breaking Bread and her theme is “Ohh La La Bastille Day.”
I decided to try something new with the remaining cherries. A cherry clafoutis (pronounced kla-foo-TEE). This would be a brand new experience for me, as I had never heard of this French breakfast/dessert pudding-like cake from the Limousin region of France. Traditionally, this dessert is baked with the whole cherry, including the pits, as they are thought to release an almond-like flavor when baked. I went ahead and removed the pits with my new cherry pitter that actually works without causing bodily harm in the process (really, one could poke their eye out with a flying cherry pit!).
I adapted the following recipe to be gluten-free and dairy-free from a recipe I discovered on What’s Cooking America.
1 Tbs. Butter (I used Earth Balance buttery spread which is dairy-free)
1 cup Granulated Sugar, divided (I used 3/4 cup total of SUSTA natural sweetener)
1/2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp. Almond Extract
1 Tbs. Brandy (I used the author’s recommendation of Amaretto Liqueur)
1 cup All-Purpose Flour (I used Better Batter Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour)
1 1/2 cups milk (I used So Delicious Original Coconut Milk)
1 pound Pitted Cherries
Powdered Sugar (Confectioner’s Sugar), for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Butter an ovenproof dish, deep dish pie plate, or cast-iron pan (at least 1 1/2-inches deep). (I used a cast iron pan, but next time I will use a deep dish pie plate because I had some trouble removing the clafoutis in one piece).
- Place eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, brandy, flour, and milk in a blender: puree till smooth.
- In a mixing bowl, toss the cherries with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. (I omitted this step)
- Place three-quarters of the cherries and their juices in the bottom of the baking dish. Pour the batter over the fruit; arrange the remaining cherries on top.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top is brown and a knife inserted into the middle of the dish comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving (cake will sink slightly).
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar over the top with a sieve.
- Serve the Cherry Clafouti warm.
Are there any foods that trigger strong summer memories from your childhood?
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